Prejudice: Automatic Prejudice Social Influences: Social Inequalities, Ingroup Bias Emotions and Prejudice: Scapegoat Theory Cognitive Roots: Forming Categories Memory: vivid cases Just-world fallacy Aggression: Biological Influences (genetic, neural, biochemical) Psychological and Social-Cultural Factors: Frustration-aggression Reinforcement Family Modeling Media Models Social Scripts Two examples of how antisocial behavior happens
Social Relations Prejudice Prejudice: An unjustified (usually negative) attitude toward a group (and its members). Discrimination: Unjustified behavior selectively applied to members of a group. Stereotype: A generalized belief about a group, applied to every member of a group. Components of Prejudice Beliefs (stereotypes) Predisposition to act (to discriminate) Emotions (hostility, envy, fear)
Levels of Prejudice can Change The Greatest Generation The Silent Generation Baby Boomers Generation X Generation Y Support for interracial dating
Social Relations Prejudice Remains Attitudes about gay marriage have not come as far as attitudes about interracial marriage. Increased prejudice toward all Muslims and Arabs after 9/11 has still not subsided much. Women are still judged and treated unfairly. Automatic, subtle, and institutional prejudice still occurs even when people state that they have no prejudice in principle (but may have unconscious prejudiced reactions).
Automatic Prejudice Study: People were more likely to misperceive a tool as a gun when preceded by an African-American face, when both were presented quickly followed by blank screen or “visual mask.” Not a gun
Prejudice based on Gender People may prefer a feminine face But this preference doesn’t counteract gender prejudice: Preference for male babies, even abortion or infanticide of females Blaming women for adultery Seeing assertiveness or ambition as attractive in men, abrasive in women
Social Inequality, when some groups have fewer resources and opportunities than others: May result from prejudice, but can also make it worse… May be used to justify people as deserving their current position: Social Relations Social Roots of Prejudice it breeds contempt for the people better off, disrespect for people less well off. “Those doing well must have done something right, so: those suffering must have done something wrong.”
Us vs. Them: Ingroups, Outgroups Even if people are randomly assigned to groups: Part of our natural drive to belong to a group leads to ingroup bias (favoring one’s own group), misjudging other groups, and quickly categorizing strangers: “with me or against me.”
Scapegoat Theory: The observation that, when bad things happen, prejudice offers an outlet for anger by finding someone to blame. Experiments show a link: Prejudice increases during temporary frustration (and decreases when experiencing loving support) Link to fear: Prejudice seems absent in people with inactive fear responses in the amygdala. Social Relations Emotional Roots of Prejudice
Social Relations Cognitive Roots of Prejudice Forming Categories: The Other-Race Effect The Power of Vivid Cases: Availability heuristic ignores statistics “Just World” Belief: People must deserve what they get Fed by hindsight bias, cognitive dissonance
Social Relations: Cognitive Roots of Prejudice The Other-Race Effect We also are hypersensitive to difference, seeing mixed-race faces as belonging to the other group: Which faces are Other-race effect: We tend to see uniformity in the appearance of other groups, and may assume other similarities such as traits; These presumed similarities form stereotypes. Caucasians said: Reality:
Judging Based on Vivid Cases If we see dramatic examples of terrorism carried out by people who are Muslim, we may form a false association, when in fact: 9/11 hijackers The stereotype “Muslim = terrorist” sticks in some people’s minds even though the vast majority of Muslims do not fit this stereotype.
Implication: If people are rich, privileged, they must have earned it; So, if people are poor, outcast, they must not deserve better. Believing that justice happens… leads to blaming the victim. Social Relations: Cognitive Roots of Prejudice Belief that the World is Just The Just-World Fallacy: Believing that justice generally happens, that people get the benefits and punishments they deserve.
Thinking Habits Reinforcing Prejudice The Availability Heuristic: Stereotypes are built on vivid cases rather than statistics Confirmation Bias: we are not likely to look for counterexamples to our stereotypes. Hindsight Bias: “they should have known better,” blames victims for misfortunes. Cognitive dissonance: “My culture and family treats minorities this way, can we be wrong?”
Aggression can have many forms and purposes: Aggression can be physical, verbal, relational: e.g. punching, insulting, shooting, betraying. Aggression can be planned or reactive. Aggression can be driven by hostile rage or can be a coldly calculated means to an end. Social Relations Aggression Definition: Behavior with the intent of harming another person.
There is not one genetically universal style or amount of aggressiveness in human behavior But there are biological factors which may explain variation in levels of aggression: Genetic factors (including Heredity) Neural factors, esp. Brain Activity Biochemistry, esp. hormones and alcohol Social Relations The Biology of Aggression
There is evidence that aggression is tied to genes, even if we’re not sure which ones: 1.Aggression can be selectively bred in animals and then passed on to the next generation 2.Identical twins are more similar in their levels of aggression than fraternal twins or siblings 3.Males are more prone to aggression, and differ by a chromosome (female XX vs. male XY) Social Relations Genetic Influences on Aggression
Testosterone levels are correlated with irritability, assertiveness, impulsiveness, and low tolerance for frustration. Traits linked to testosterone levels, such as facial width, also are linked to aggressiveness. Violent criminal males have high testosterone levels along with low serotonin levels Reducing testosterone reduces aggression, in both humans and animals Social Relations Biochemistry of Aggression The male hormone
Alcohol may chemically or psychologically make the following more likely: Disinhibited aggressive behavior Aggressive responses to frustration Violent crimes, especially spousal abuse Lack of attention to peacemaking options Interpreting neutral acts as provocations Social Relations Biochemistry of Aggression Alcohol
Evidence of brain links to aggression: One monkey learned to subdue the aggression of another, by turning on an electrode implanted in an aggression-inhibiting brain area A woman became rude and violent after painless stimulation of her amygdala Underactive frontal lobes (which inhibit impulses) are linked to aggression, violence Social Relations Neural Influences Brain Activity and Aggression
Levels of aggression are influenced by: Aversive conditions and feeling frustrated; Getting reinforced for aggressive behavior; Having aggression modeled at home or in the media Adopting social scripts for aggression from culture and the media. Social Relations Psychosocial Factors and Aggression
Aversive/Unpleasant Conditions Frustration-Aggression Principle: After repeated frustrating events, Anger can build, and find a target, and then: Aggression can erupt, possibly against someone who was not the initial cause of the frustration. Aggression is often a response to frustration and other aversive conditions and events. Violence increases during hot years, hot days. Also aversive: pain, heat, crowding, foul odors.
Sometimes aggression works! Bullies win control and obedience, Robbers gain wealth, tacklers who injure receivers get bonuses. Aggression, like any behavior, increases in frequency and intensity after it is reinforced. Parents and Aggression- Replacement Training can guide youth by rewarding other, prosocial behaviors that still meet personal needs. Reinforced/Rewarded Aggression
Family, Cultural Models for Aggression Parents dislike aggressive behavior in their children, but unfortunately: They may have modeled that behavior, such as yelling, as their kids watched them handle frustration. Some cultures model aggression and violence as a solution to personal and societal injustice. Models for aggression are also conveyed through media, in the form of social scripts.
Aggression in Media: Social Scripts Aggression portrayed in video, music, books, and other media, follows and teaches a script. When confronted with new situations, we may rely on social scripts to guide our responses. Many scripts proscribe aggression. Social Scripts: Culturally constructed directions on how to act, downloaded from media as a “file” or “program” in the mind. Effects of Social Scripts Studies: Exposure to one aggressive story increases other forms of aggressive behavior. Watchers of TV crime see the world as more threatening (needing a aggressive defense?) Randomly assigned to watch explicit pornography, study participants suggested shorter sentences for rapists and accepted the myth that victims may have enjoyed the rape.
More Media Effects on Aggression Exposure to violence in media, especially in pornography, seems to increase, rather than release, male aggressive impulses. Media can portray minorities, women, the poor, and others with less power as being weak, stupid, submissive, and less human, and thus deserving their victimhood. Video Games and Aggression People randomly assigned to play ultraviolent video games showed increases in hostility People playing a game helping characters, showed increased real-life helping People have acted out violent acts from video games; People playing the most violent games tended to be the most aggressive; but what came first, aggressiveness or games?